Slowly sinking barge causing issues in Okanagan Lake - InfoNews

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Slowly sinking barge causing issues in Okanagan Lake

A barge is slowly sinking into Okanagan Lake at the entrance of the Vernon Yacht Club, Sunday, May 15, 2017. This barge is slowly sinking into Okanagan Lake.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Vernon Fire and Rescue Services
May 15, 2017 - 10:12 AM

VERNON - Authorities are trying to figure out what to do with a sinking barge in Okanagan Lake.

Vernon Fire and Rescue was notified around 4 p.m. yesterday, May 14, of a barge with a large, tipped over pile driver on it, about 300 feet of the shore at Paddlewheel Park, Capt. Reinhard Mann says.

“It looked like it was still taking on water,” Mann says. “Eventually, if not retrieved, it’s going to be on the lake bottom.”

The owner was not at the scene Sunday but is reportedly on his way, Mann says. Boaters reported a strong smell of fuel.

“We were unable to confirm how much fuel was on board,” Mann says, adding the department would build a boom around it in the event of a spill. 

The fire department notified the Ministry of Environment, who directed the matter to the coast guard, Mann says. Contact has also been made with Transport Canada.

The vessel is currently blocking the entrance to the Vernon Yacht Club.

“Stay away from the vessel, due to the underwater obstacles,” Mann says. “If it does sink, it’ll be a hazard under the surface.”

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